Daniel Okrent is the author most recently of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, winner of the 2011 Albert J. Beveridge Prize, awarded by the American Historical Association to the year's best book on American history. He began working on Last Call shortly before he concluded his term as the first Public Editor of the New York Times in 2005. He had retired as Editor-at-Large of Time Inc. in July 2001, after serving three years in that post, three years as the company's Editor of New Media, and four years as Managing Editor of Life magazine.
Prior to arriving at Time Inc. in 1991, Mr. Okrent worked extensively in book and magazine publishing in editorial and executive positions. In the book industry, he was an editor at Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and at the Viking Press, and editor-in-chief of general books at Harcourt Brace, Inc. In magazines, he was editor and cofounder of New England Monthly (twice consecutively winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence). As a writer, he has published five books, among them Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center, a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history. He has appeared as an actor in two feature films, Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown and Lasse Hallstrom's The Hoax, and on television, he was a featured commentator on Ken Burns's PBS series, Baseball.
Formerly a director of Lands' End, Inc., Mr. Okrent currently sits on the board of TESSCO Technologies Inc. He has served for nine years on the board of the National Portrait Gallery, five of them as chairman.
In the 2009-2010 academic year, Mr. Okrent was the Edward R. Murrow Visiting Lecturer on Press, Politics, and Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he had been a Fellow in 2006. In the 1999-2000 academic year, he was the Hearst Foundation Visiting Fellow in New Media at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is currently a retained consultant to Time Inc.
A native of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Okrent lives in Manhattan and on Cape Cod with his wife, poet Rebecca Okrent. They have two adult children.
Member of The Cooper Union Board since: 2010
last updated: December 2010